Mixed integer programming improves comprehensibility and plan quality in inverse optimization of prostate HDR brachytherapy

Bram L. Gorissen*, Dick den Hertog, Aswin L. Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Current inverse treatment planning methods that optimize both catheter positions and dwell times in prostate HDR brachytherapy use surrogate linear or quadratic objective functions that have no direct interpretation in terms of dose-volume histogram (DVH) criteria, do not result in an optimum or have long solution times. We decrease the solution time of the existing linear and quadratic dose-based programming models (LP and QP, respectively) to allow optimizing over potential catheter positions using mixed integer programming. An additional average speed-up of 75% can be obtained by stopping the solver at an early stage, without deterioration of the plan quality. For a fixed catheter configuration, the dwell time optimization model LP solves to optimality in less than 15 s, which confirms earlier results. We propose an iterative procedure for QP that allows us to prescribe the target dose as an interval, while retaining independence between the solution time and the number of dose calculation points. This iterative procedure is comparable in speed to the LP model and produces better plans than the non-iterative QP. We formulate a new dose-volume-based model that maximizes V-100% while satisfying pre-set DVH criteria. This model optimizes both catheter positions and dwell times within a few minutes depending on prostate volume and number of catheters, optimizes dwell times within 35 s and gives better DVH statistics than dose-based models. The solutions suggest that the correlation between the objective value and the clinical plan quality is weak in the existing dose-based models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1057
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2013


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